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Revalidate with the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College

Seafarers are being reminded to revalidate their certificates, to be in line with changes to Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), introduced by the 2010 Manila amendments.

From 31 December, 2016, all perpetual Certificates of Proficiency as Rating (Able Seaman, Deck Rating and Engine Room Rating) and perpetual Certificates of Safety Training will expire.

“AMSA makes it quite clear that the holders of those certificates will not be able to work from 1 January, 2017 unless they have revalidated their certificates,” GBRIMC Marine Industry Portfolio Manager, Gary Haddock said.

With this insight, the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College (GBRIMC), a campus of TAFE Queensland North in Cairns, has made extra efforts to accommodate seafarers revalidating their certificates.

“We have been providing AMSA approved refresher training for Masters, Mates, Engineers, Chief Integrated Ratings, and Integrated Ratings throughout the year; the courses are in high demand.

“Seafarers who study with us will gain hands-on experience so they are capable of meeting the mandatory sea survival, basic fire prevention and firefighting and advanced firefighting skills, required by AMSA,” Mr Haddock said.

The GBRIMC’s training facilities are all located on the one site, ruling out the need for students to travel and the facility has its own Full Mission Bridge Simulator, an immersion pool and a Multi-purpose Emergency Response Training Simulator (MERTS).

The MERTS is a three-storey replica ship that can be set alight via its own self-contained gas system or flooded with six tonne of water.

Marine Training Officer, Neil Wattam said the MERTS facility is designed to recreate emergency maritime situations.

“As a trainer, the MERTS allows me to work through a range of scenarios with the students; placing them in varying compartments to achieve competency. The exercises put the students’ incident control, risk management and team work skills to the test.

“As the training kicks in, the crew go to muster and verify that all crew members are accounted for. As information comes to hand, the Incident Control team can establish priorities and set aims. The crew is then assigned tasks or carry out their expected roles; identifying and relaying important information.

“A key part of the training offered at the GBRIMC is based around the idea that good decisions can be made from good information. Our training also includes a risk management approach, so we teach students to determine quickly, what is the risk to them, the ship and to survival,” Mr Wattam said.

The GBRIMC also has an immersion pool, which allows trainers and students to launch and operate life-rafts and use on-board lifesaving equipment for survival techniques and ocean rescues. 

A Kongsberg Polaris simulator is also located at the GBRIMC, which is STCW and DNV compliant. The bridge is equipped with Electronic Chart Display, digital models of ports from around the world, AIS, Radar and the controls required to operate a range of propulsion and steering systems. 

Australian cruise company, Coral Expeditions has been using the training facilities at the GBRIMC for years.

“We rely heavily on the courses and qualifications that TAFE Queensland North provides us with; to have our crew suitably qualified to work on our ships. We have a great relationship with the college and the staff and trainers are always happy to help with our requests and nothing is ever too much trouble,” Coral Expeditions Operations Support Officer, Kelly Hanley said.

Coral Expeditions has three purpose-built ships and offers expedition cruises throughout Australia, South East Asia and Papua New Guinea.

“The main course we take advantage of is the Certificate of Safety Training. It gives our crew members all of the relevant personal safety and firefighting knowledge that they need in order to work on our vessels and comply with marine regulations,” Ms Hanley said.

TAFE Queensland North General Manager, Joann Pyne said the GBRIMC offers domestic and commercial vessel certificates as well as a range of STCW AMSA approved short courses.

“Training in the MERTS facility, the Full Mission Bridge Simulator and the immersion pool can be tailored specifically to meet individual client requirements,” Ms Pyne said.

To find out more about revalidating a certificate with the GBRIMC call +61 7 4041 9813 or visit www.gbrimc.com.au

Great Barrier Reef International Marine College is part of the TAFE Queensland network. TAFE Queensland RTO No. 0275, CRICOS No. 03020E. Visit tafenorth.edu.au for full RTO details

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